Afghan Sheepdog vs. Afghan Hound: Understanding the Differences

Afghan Sheepdog vs. Afghan Hound: Understanding the Differences

When it comes to Afghan Sheepdogs and Afghan Hounds, it’s important to understand the distinctions between these two magnificent dog breeds. While they may share a similar name and originate from the same country, their characteristics and purposes differ significantly. In this article, we will delve into the distinctions between Afghan Sheepdogs and Afghan Hounds, helping you gain a better understanding of their unique traits, temperaments, and ideal roles as pets or working dogs. Whether you are a dog enthusiast, a potential owner, or simply curious about these fascinating breeds, this guide will provide valuable insights to help you make an informed decision.



The Afghan Sheepdog and the Afghan Hound differ significantly in terms of their coats. The Afghan Sheepdog has a thick, dense double coat that is designed to protect it from harsh weather conditions. The outer coat is long and coarse, while the undercoat is soft and insulating. This breed’s coat requires regular grooming to prevent matting and tangling.

On the other hand, the Afghan Hound is known for its luxurious, silky coat. It has a fine texture that flows gracefully as the dog moves. This breed’s coat is long and requires regular brushing to keep it free from tangles and debris. The Afghan Hound’s coat comes in a variety of colors, including black, cream, red, and brindle.


When comparing the Afghan Sheepdog and the Afghan Hound, there is a noticeable difference in size. The Afghan Sheepdog is a large breed, typically weighing between 70 to 100 pounds (32 to 45 kilograms) and standing at a height of 24 to 28 inches (61 to 71 centimeters) at the shoulder. This breed possesses a robust and muscular build, which contributes to its strength and agility.

On the other hand, the Afghan Hound is slightly smaller in size. It weighs between 50 to 60 pounds (23 to 27 kilograms) and stands at a height of 25 to 27 inches (64 to 69 centimeters) at the shoulder. Despite being smaller, the Afghan Hound still maintains an elegant and slender physique, which adds to its grace and beauty.


In terms of build, the Afghan Sheepdog and the Afghan Hound exhibit distinct characteristics. The Afghan Sheepdog has a strong and sturdy build, with well-developed muscles and a broad chest. This breed is built for endurance and excels in activities requiring physical strength, such as herding and guarding.

Contrastingly, the Afghan Hound has a lean and agile build. It has a slender body with a deep chest and a tucked-up abdomen. This build allows the Afghan Hound to achieve remarkable speed and agility, making it an excellent sight hound. With its graceful and effortless movements, this breed is often admired for its beauty and elegance.

In conclusion, the Afghan Sheepdog and the Afghan Hound differ in terms of coat, size, and build. While the Afghan Sheepdog boasts a thick double coat and a robust build, the Afghan Hound showcases a silky coat, a slightly smaller size, and a slender build. Understanding these differences can help individuals choose the breed that aligns with their preferences and lifestyle.


Afghan Sheepdog

The temperament of the Afghan Sheepdog can be described as loyal, protective, and intelligent. These dogs are known for their strong bonds with their owners and their families, and they are often very devoted to them. Afghan Sheepdogs are known to be protective of their loved ones and can be wary of strangers, making them excellent guard dogs.

In addition to their protective nature, Afghan Sheepdogs are also intelligent dogs. They are quick learners and can easily pick up on commands and training. It is important to provide them with mental stimulation and regular exercise to keep their minds sharp and prevent boredom.

Despite their protective instincts, Afghan Sheepdogs are generally gentle and friendly with their family members. They can be great companions for children and other pets if properly socialized from a young age. However, it is important to note that Afghan Sheepdogs may not always get along with unfamiliar dogs, so early socialization and proper introductions are crucial.

Afghan Hound

The Afghan Hound is known for its graceful and dignified temperament. These dogs have a calm and gentle nature, making them great companions for families and individuals alike. Afghan Hounds are often described as aloof and independent, but they form strong bonds with their owners and can be quite affectionate.

Unlike the Afghan Sheepdog, Afghan Hounds are not known for their protective instincts. They are generally friendly with strangers and can be welcoming towards visitors. However, they may not be the best choice for a guard dog, as their friendly nature may not make them effective at protecting their loved ones or property.

Afghan Hounds are intelligent dogs, but they can also be quite stubborn at times. They may require patient and consistent training to follow commands. It is important to provide them with regular mental stimulation and physical exercise to prevent boredom and destructive behaviors.

In summary, while both the Afghan Sheepdog and Afghan Hound share some similarities in terms of intelligence, their temperaments differ significantly. The Afghan Sheepdog is loyal, protective, and wary of strangers, while the Afghan Hound is calm, gentle, and friendly towards both familiar and unfamiliar people. Understanding these differences can help potential owners make an informed decision when choosing the right breed for their lifestyle and preferences.

Training and Exercise

Afghan Sheepdog

Training and exercise are essential aspects when it comes to Afghan Sheepdogs. These intelligent and active dogs thrive in an environment that provides mental and physical stimulation. To ensure their well-being, it is crucial to establish a consistent and structured training routine.

Afghan Sheepdogs are known for their independent nature, which can sometimes make training a bit challenging. However, with patience, positive reinforcement, and firm yet gentle guidance, they can become well-behaved and obedient companions. Early socialization and basic obedience training are particularly important for Afghan Sheepdogs to help them develop good manners and become well-rounded dogs.

Engaging in regular exercise is vital for Afghan Sheepdogs to maintain their health and prevent behavioral issues that may arise due to pent-up energy. These dogs have a moderate to high energy level and require daily physical activities such as long walks, jogging, or playing in a securely fenced area. Mental stimulation is also essential, so puzzle toys and interactive games can be beneficial for their overall well-being.

Afghan Hound

Training and exercise play a crucial role in the life of Afghan Hounds as well. These elegant and agile dogs have a strong instinctual desire to chase, which can make recall training a challenge. However, with consistent training, positive reinforcement, and understanding their independent nature, Afghan Hounds can become well-behaved and obedient companions.

Early socialization is essential for Afghan Hound puppies to help them develop good manners and become comfortable in various environments. Basic obedience training should also be a part of their routine, focusing on commands like sit, stay, and come. It is important to note that Afghan Hounds may have a more independent and stubborn streak compared to some other breeds, so patience and consistency are key during their training sessions.

In terms of exercise, Afghan Hounds have a moderate to high energy level and require regular physical activity. They enjoy a good run, so providing them with an opportunity to stretch their legs in a securely fenced area is beneficial. Daily walks and play sessions are also essential to keep them mentally and physically stimulated. However, it is important to avoid overexertion, especially in hot weather, as Afghan Hounds are sensitive to heat.

The Afghan Sheepdog and Afghan Hound may share similar names and origins, but they are distinctly different in terms of appearance, temperament, and purpose. While both breeds are known for their beauty and elegance, the Afghan Hound stands out with its long flowing coat and regal demeanor, while the Afghan Sheepdog exudes a more sturdy and protective presence. Additionally, the Afghan Hound is primarily a companion dog valued for its grace and affection, whereas the Afghan Sheepdog is a devoted working dog bred to guard livestock. Whether you are considering a loyal and majestic companion or a diligent and dependable working partner, understanding the differences between these two Afghan breeds is crucial in making an informed decision.